2017 Wrap-up

There are a million things that happened this year and I was so busy I had no time to write about it. The number #1 most coolest thing?

I made more money than I have ever before. For the past 8 orso years I have sat down at the end of the year and made a plan for my budget, set up major goals and estimated my income. For 2017 I expected my net income to be $24,352.44 for the year, which breaks down to $2,029.37/month (26 pays divided by 12). I always aim for the conservative side. :). While I haven’t yet tallied the totals of all my various jobs and income streams, I’m expecting to land somewhere around $60,000 gross for 2017!

I also intended to;

Save $5,377.68 in my RSPs

Save $1881.28 to my house savings

Save $7,209.16 for a vehicle. 

I had anticipated earning an extra $2,000 with my summer employment in 2017. In total I had planned to save $14,468.12…. I pretty much blew all that out of the water!

Since I scored a sweet full-time term job I was able to add quite a bit to my savings.

I usually keep track of my main savings goals in the side bar over there —->>>> and this year my savings finally made some big jumps, I used to update those bars at every dollar of progress but not so much anymore, 😀 too much work! At year end things looked like this;

2017 RSP contributions
Goal: $12,377.68
Total contributed for 2017: $16,808.33!
Total in %: 168%

2017 Extra income
Goal: $4,000
Actual: $23,000+ (net)
Total in %: 575%

2017 vehicle savings
Goal: $12,000
Total for 2017: $1,454.00
Total in %: 9.1%

2017 House saving
Goal: $1,881.28
Total for 2017: $5,000 (approximately)
Total in %: 265%

After adding in the investments I started in Lending Loop, in total I saved and invested approximately $26,262 during 2017. That’s a nice chunk more than the $14,468.12 I had budgeted for. 🙂

You’ll notice I totally abandoned saving for a vehicle, there really isn’t a specific reason for that, the money that should have been directed to that probably landed in the savings categories where I overshot my goals as I anticipate getting another year out of my car. I’ll be revisiting that in my plan for 2018 though.

The number #2 coolest thing? As a result of all dem savings;

I hit a $100,000 net worth! I’ve been working towards this for SO SO SO SO long. Since I sold my house in the fall of 2016, with no more debt holding me down and much lower housing costs I was really able to focus all my efforts on contributing to my RSP’s, TFSA, Savings and investments, and crossed the first 100k! I’m so blessed to be so rich, because man, that is rich compared to much of the world.

My YNAB file recently got corrupted and I lost a few years of data, I do make regular backups but honestly… even with monthly backups restoring a budget file with hundreds of transactions missing and accounts that constantly change (heyyyy travel-hacking) I was too lazy to go through that process. I don’t import my account data from banks, I manually input every transaction I make and keep my budget file completely offline. (I have not adopted the new subscription version of YNAB, I had subscription anything and will use YNAB 4 until I die… or until it really stops functioning) I like it this way, anyway, it does mean that since I hadn’t really kept an eye on or blogged about my networth goals that I don’t really have an accurate picture of how my networth increased over 2017. I do know that my GOAL for the start of 2016 was to have a networth of 72,000 but that I abandoned that goal.

As of today my net worth is at $111,018.64. I found a post back in April, 2014 where I logged my networth at $55,000 so in 3 years and 9 months I’ve doubled that, and sold my house converting its value.

I’m still ruminating on exactly what I’ll plan for in 2018, stay tuned. 🙂

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?

 

Credit card roulette: BMO World Elite MasterCard

Too much time passed since my last credit card application 😉 so I figured, why not do another!  A few weeks ago I received this targeted personalized offer in my email to upgrade my simple no annual fee BMO Airmiles creditcard to the BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard (that’s a mouthful!)

This card isn’t a card I usually qualify for as it has an income requirement of $80,000. Some people doing these deals do sneaky things and inflate income, according to posts I’ve read on Flyertalk. I don’t. There is a public offer out right now for this card if you just go out and apply for it. You can read all the details and comments here on RFD. (Yes, I get much of my info from the internets, don’t you?)

It’s a great deal, 3000 Airmiles, companion flight rebate, first year free, after a $3,000 spend in the first 3 months and also Priority pass member ship with 2 free passes. The deal I got isn’t quite as good but given that I don’t fulfil the normal income requirement… I can’t complain!

I get 1,500 bonus Airmiles after a $1,000 spend, first year free and also the priority pass membership with 2 free passes.

I applied last week and woohoo! I got it! It showed up in the mail fairly quickly and I destroyed my old card and started using the new one.

Since Tom got the card as well we hope to use his  Airmiles to go to NYC again next summer! Since i’ll also be sitting on some Airmiles and I expect to be able to collect some more I hope to use my Airmiles to visit Newfoundland next year, and just pay the tax. 🙂

 

BUT WHY!? (A summary I also noted on my last creditcard related post)

 

Why do I do this? To afford travel, travel will never be totally free as there are always costs involved but travel hacking has allowed me to see and do things I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

 

Does it hurt my credit? No!

I keep tabs on my creditscore using creditkarma.ca; my score updates every Monday, I request my free Equifax report once a year and am generally watchful of whats happening on my credit.

I also have a fraud warning on my profile to verify identification prior to extending credit as I previously had a compromised creditcard.

Is it illegal?  Very much no.  There is no trickery here: just reading the fine print, getting a credit card and using it what its intended for; spending and then reaping the rewards. Yes I change cards a little more often than the average joe but I’d stick with a card if it was rewarding enough. I’m a huge fan of the American Express Gold card for its benefits for example and if I weren’t being tempted by other companies would consider that a solid card for every day spending.

Does it hurt my ability for future big things like buying a house? Not really!

As I am not currently in the market for any car or home related loans I have no problem continuing this game. With any new application my score may drop a few points, usually nothing big and sometimes there is no change at all. This application had zero effect on my score with TransUnion and BMO verifies through Equifax. Were this to change and were I to need to start shopping for a mortgage or something big I would take the appropriate actions, shut a few things down and slow down my applications but for now… happy travel hacking!

Have you ever tried travel hacking?